Physical safety of people and objects“Meeting place” for strangers to see each other.Point of view / mission & vision of museum and exhibitionWelcome (subtle and nuanced).An institution that is interested in its own learning and change.And now “shared authority” a place for people to learn fromthe museum, from other sources , and for people to teach eachother.A staff that is willing to present their own expertise but is willingto explore avenues of accommodating and encouraging othersas well. 2
Can be created about any subject. Must be set in public spaces with available circulation Must be enhanced by three-dimensional material (“evidence”). Creator/s must be passionate otherwise the exhibit will be “boring”. The material must answer some overt or unexpressed question for the visitor One must check with potential visitors about what that might be. All exhibitions have “points to view” embedded in them. It is better if the curator/museum knows what that is and even better if they tell the public .Elaine Heumann Gurian 11/3/2011 3
Visitors have many variables that museum be taken into account. Visitors (in part): have multiple ways of learning, (Howard Gardner) Are various ages, have had diverse experiences before they get to the museum, (Constructivisits). may have come in the company of others. (group, family, date, etc.) Have different amount of time to spend in the museum. know various amounts about the subject at hand. Have themselves a point of view of the subject matter. Have different motivations for being on the space. These motivations may vary from visit to visit and from object to object.Elaine Heumann Gurian 11/3/2011 4
Visitors enter museums for a variety of reasons: To learn something. To teach someone with them something. To spend time in a social group in a nice place. On a quest for specific information and sightings. To casually view the material for social approbation elsewhere. Because they are tourists and feel they must see things. To study something for special purpose/use or because it has been assigned elsewhere. Because they are in a group, taken without consultation and have to be there. To check out the information about their group/clan/people and react politically either favorably or not.Elaine Heumann Gurian 11/3/2011 5
In order to satisfy these various motivations and personal histories and learning style, the exhibition creators must: Design for multiplicity of use and users. These various avenues of satisfaction should not interfere with each other and should not add to visual clutter.Elaine Heumann Gurian 11/3/2011 6
In order to satisfy various visitor needs, designers must employ a variety of strategies and styles. To learn these, exhibit producers should: Copy from everyone – internet, theatre, commerce, exhibitions, tr ades, shop windows -- everyone! Modulate the levels of activity, noise, quiet, etc. Everything should not be high involvementElaine Heumann Gurian 11/3/2011 7
I call the overall direction of the narrative that the museum presents – LIGHT FRAMING. And the additional strategies that help with different learning styles and motivations – LAYERING.
The point of layering is to provide enough different exhibition straegies that will satisfy the need/motivations of the visitor that urged them to come to the museum in the first place. For example For the novice -- Orientation, location, glossary for the beginning and novice learner. For the parent; two level labels that allow parents and care givers to explain content to their younger companions For the expert: Avenues for gathering deep information around all the topics without disturbing the visual space.Elaine Heumann Gurian 11/3/2011 9
And now in the 21st Century, we must: Provide avenues for information generated by other sources adding to the availability of expert information generated by others – i.e. wikipedia. Provide avenues for public interaction with the content, with the experts and with each other. Provide ways that allow the exhibition and the institution to change and grow because of the input generated by users.
But not as much as you think. Technology is expensive but there are ways to use the equipment others have on them – i.e. cell phone, ipads, ipods, etc. There are methods like “talk-back boards” that generate interaction using paper and pencils. Tactility does not have to use technology. Good design can be used with any kind of material so expense should not be the limiting feature.Elaine Heumann Gurian 11/3/2011 1 1
www.smithsonianlegacies.si.edu/ photos/133.jpg Cases, labels and walking around. What did it feel like? Notice the aisle size.Elaine Heumann Gurian 11/3/2011 1 2